How To Bet On The NHL From California

The NHL has a big presence in California with the LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks all being located in the state. These are all traditionally competitive teams with big fan bases, although the Ducks and Sharks have struggled in recent years. That said, NHL betting is still generally very popular in California.

On this page I will recommend our top rated betting site for California residents, look at the legalities of betting online within the state, give examples of the three popular bets you can make on NHL games and provide a simple 3 step guide you can follow to get your NHL bets placed online.

Best Betting Site for California Residents

Bet Now
  • Built for American bettors
  • Wide variety of competitive betting lines
  • Easy to navigate betting platform
50% up to $250 is our #1 rated betting site for California residents looking to bet on the NHL. Bovada burst onto the scene in 2012 and quickly became the most popular online betting site for Americans. They have proven to be a safe, secure and trusted sportsbook that is focused on providing a great betting experience to USA (including California) residents.

Bovada offers fair odds on every NHL game including around 40 prop betting options for each game.

Sports Betting in California

It is not currently legal to operate a sportsbook in California. There were two ballot measures that failed by significant margins during the November 2022 midterms, so it doesn’t look like legalized sports betting will be coming to California in the near future.

That said, there’s no law against California residents signing up and placing bets with an offshore betting site that is regulated and licensed outside of the USA. Bovada is licensed and regulated in Curacao, which allows them to accept players from California and the majority of other states.

Check out our California section for a more in depth look at the betting climate in the state.

NHL Betting Options

There are three popular NHL bets that are featured for every game. These are the money line (winner), puck line (spread) and over/under (totals).

Money Line (Winner)

Betting on which team will win is by far the most popular bet on NHL games. The oddsmakers sets odds based on each teams expected chance of winning the game. Betting on the favorite will return less winnings than betting on the underdog for the same risk.

Here’s an example from a Ducks vs Golden Knights game from last season. The Golden Knights were big favorites at home in this example. The -220 indicates that you would have to risk $220 to win $100 betting on the Golden Knights. The +180 indicates that you would win $180 from a bet of $100 on the Ducks.

Check out our sports betting odds page if you don’t understand the American Odds format.

Puck Line (Spread)

In the NHL the puck line will always refer to a 1.5 goal spread, meaning the favorites have to win by 2 or more to be the winning side of the bet, while the underdogs have to either win the game or lose by 1 to be the winning side.

Unlike the NBA or NFL where a bet on either side of the spread will generally payout an equal amount, the NHL puck line bets still rely heavily on betting odds. This is because goals are hard to come by in the NHL, so it’s impossible to find a spread to even the playing field.

Continuing with the Ducks vs Golden Knights game example, let’s look at the puck line. A $100 bet on Vegas to win by 2 or more would win $120. On the flip side, a puck line bet on the Ducks to either win the game or lose by 1, requires a bet of $140 to win $100.

Over/Under (Totals)

The over/under bet involves wagering on the total number of goals to be scored by both teams in the game. In the NHL the totals are generally set at 5, 5.5 or 6 and you can bet on whether you think there will be more (over) or fewer (under) goals scored in the game.

The over/under for the Ducks vs Vegas game is set at 5.5. If 6 or more goals are scored by both teams the over bets are winners, and if 5 or fewer goals are scored the under bets win.

These are the three popular NHL bets that take the vast majority of betting handle on NHL games, but there are also several prop bets you can make on each game at Bovada.

NHL Betting in California – 3 Step Guide

Follow these three steps to get your bets placed on NHL games from California.

Step 1. Open a Account

Click the above link and complete the overlay sign up form on the home page to open your account.

Bovada is our top rated betting site for California residents.

Step 2. Deposit

Log into your new account and click on ‘Deposit’ in the top right corner of the screen. Choose one of the deposit methods and follow the instructions to fund your account.

Bovada accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bitcoin and more.

Your first deposit will receive a 50% matching bonus up to $250. You will need to opt-in to claim this bonus on the “My Rewards” page of your Bovada account.

Step 3. Bet On The NHL

Click the ‘Sports’ link from the top navigation bar on the Bovada website, open the ‘All Sports’ drop down menu and select ‘Hockey’. You can then select ‘NHL’ from the ‘Trending Competitions’ menu in the left sidebar or open the ‘Hockey A-Z’ drop down menu and select ‘NHL’.

Select the NHL bet you want to make and enter your risk amount in the Bet Slip on the right sidebar. When you are satisfied with the risk and potential win amounts, click ‘Place Bets’ to lock in your wager.

Here’s a screenshot showing you the clicks to place an NHL bet at

Are you ready to bet? Click here to visit

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